Music Vignettes 2001 to now
Still performing! I was featured at the Hofstra University Italian Fest and my Italian heritage group Quartetto Ducati is getting great gigs. I am also performing as a mandolin soloist and for nursing homes, which pay very well!
2009 I win fourth prize in the Guitar Player Broadjam Winter Guitar Contest for "Agincourt-The Bullfight"
2009 I attend a Huntington Folk Music Society concert featuring members of the Island Songwriters Showcase, an organization I was active with 15 years ago. I resume my attendance at their workshops and open mics, and become active in the Folk Society.
2005 I reconnect with hs buddy and clarinetist Paul E., and join his classic jazz quartet as bassist. We play every week at local venues, with a repertoire of pre 1950 jazz classics.
2003 I meet my old pal Al coming out of the local hardware store! I haven't seen him since 1972, when we had a recording contract in the band "Exit West". We resume our friendship and music collaboration.
I return to teaching guitar privately, something I did in my younger days to get me through college. I have 22 students, mostly high school age.
2000- I play wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours, backyard parties, and condo parties as a solo, or with singer Shannon Rae as a duo. Shannon and I also do a seies of recordings of songs I have written exclusively for her, based on her life experiences.
My music vignettes to 2000
1953. The accordion man sang in the courtyard, and I had never heard a live musician before. His song was so sad-I begged my ma for money to throw down from our fourth floor window.
1958 Mr. Healy loved to sing, and lead his grade school classes in songs he loved. Tunes from "Oklahoma!" Polish and Irish songs. He rarely taught formal lessons in music, but he taught you how to love music.
1961 "This is a mistake," I said on the first day of ninth grade. "I should be free period eight-not band." Mr. Donnelly gave me a bass clarinet and asked me to try it. I played in my high school band, enjoying every minute so much more than a study hall.
1963 My neighbor Christy was such a show off. He played his new guitar sitting on his fence in his yard. I remembered my brother had gotten a guitar for Christmas and he never used it. I got it, and Christy showed me what he had learned from his guitar teacher. That night I heard "Johnny B. Goode" on the radio. I have been playing guitar ever since.
1964 We had a "band". Three teenagers with two guitars and a drum set, and a repertoire mostly of "Ventures" tunes. We were practicing "You Belong to Me" by the Duprees. My friend Ray called and asked for us to come right away to the VFW hall-the band never showed for his cousin's wedding. My dad drove us-we were nervous as we had never played a gig, yet alone a wedding. We hurriedly set up our stuff and the maitre'd annouced, without even speaking to us, that the bride and groom would now dance their first dance to "You Belong to Me." We played it and saved the day. I made $75 and had a roast beef dinner. That was great for 1963!!
1965 Dances, sweet sixteens. There were 12 working bands in my HS, all vying for jobs at local HS dances, and other teen social events which were numerous. "The Techniques" got their fair share, and hundreds of teens danced to our playing.
Friday nights at SUNY in 1967-"The Brotherhood of the Igloo" convened amid wild college parties in full swing. Piles of pot-of course not for me-and lots of girls. We sang all night.
1975 "The Teacher's Band" they called us-but we were officially known as "The Rhythm Dukes." Four young teachers at Farmingdale HS-myself, Bruce, Mal, and Bob. Before every school break, the principal asked us to play in the cafeteria. Keep the kids in school if not in class! We were a big hit and were known as "cool" teachers. This went on for years.
1979 My colleague Mal was starting a jazz band and needed a bass. He asked me. We hooked up with vibist Bob Dehne,drummer Jeff Isenberg and vocalist Allison Tee. We played lots of late night clubs all around the Long Island metro area.
1981 "The Dave Anthony Band" was formed. I needed to play some real, money-making gigs. I had a young family to support, and teaching alone wasn't going to do it. I advertised in a local paper, and met Bob, Nick, and Don. They were fantastic! What luck. I played guitar and sang, Don wailed on the sax, Bob could play bass on his split keyboard, and Nick was a talented drummer. Before you know it, we were doing 75 jobs a year, plus holding down full time day jobs. A four piece band that sounded like six guys-No wonder we were so busy.
1987 DJs started taking the work in the very niche we occupied-small weddings less than 125 people. In the early 90's I folded up shop and went solo playing Spanish guitar. I put out 2 CDs of Spanish music and played many solo gigs.
1996 Necker Island, B.V.I. We went to the playground of the rich and famous. Oprah, Princess Di, Mel Gibson, and Mick Jagger had all stayed at Necker Island. We got the full celebrity treatment, and played at this fabulous resort for five days.